Pierre LeBrun wrote an interesting article in The Athletic last week. In it, he cited what other NHL general managers (GMs) thought about former Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas. Here’s a sample of what was said in that article.
What Other GMs Said?
Jarmo Kekalainen (of the Columbus Blue Jackets) was quoted as saying:
“I have the utmost respect for Kyle, both as a professional and as a person. He’s always a straight shooter to deal with. No bulls—. Just an all-around really good person and a professional. All our discussions were straightforward and analytical. I think he has a very thorough approach to everything; you have to be prepared when you talk to him because he’s going to look at things from every angle. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Bill Zito (of the Florida Panthers) added:
“Obviously, a very bright man. And a guy that I have a lot of faith in his character. He’s a guy you could do a deal with. And if it wasn’t papered, you could tell the (player) go ahead get on the plane. As an agent, we used to say if you did a deal with a GM and you didn’t have a contract back yet, would you send your player on the plane? That’s a level of respect I have for Kyle’s integrity. Obviously, I’m very fond of him. I think he did a hell of a job there.”
They were not alone, other GMs also went on record to say nice things about the quality of his work.
What Can We Tell About Dubas from These Comments?
Based on these quotes from Jarmo Kekalainen and Bill Zito, what can we assertain about the work Kyle Dubas did with the Maple Leafs? Several qualities stand out that would seem to have made him a strong GM in Toronto.
Quality One: Dubas, Totally Professional
Dubas was highly regarded for his professionalism and straightforward approach. Other NHL GMs believed he was honest and direct in his dealings. That professionalism fostered trust and transparency in his relationships with other GMs.
Quality Two: Dubas, Acted Analytically
Other NHL GMs appreciated Dubas for his thorough and analytical approach to decision-making. He carefully considered their angles and perspectives, and he worked to ensure that he was well-prepared and informed before he made any moves or engaged in discussions.
Quality Three: Dubas, Acted with Integrity and Character
Dubas was described by other NHL GMs as a person of integrity. He was someone who followed through on his word. That allowed him to maintain a high level of trust with other GMs in his interactions. This same level of trust extended to agents and players. It made him someone they could rely on during negotiations and deals.
Quality Four: Dubas, Respected by His Peers
The comments from Kekalainen and Zito, taken together, highlight the respect and admiration they had for their young peer. It suggests that Dubas had a reputation for being a competent and trustworthy GM among his NHL peers.
Quality Five: Dubas, Good at His Job
Other GMs believed that Dubas was effective and gave him a high job performance rating. Bill Zito specifically noted that he believed Dubas did a “hell of a job” in his role with the Maple Leafs. Such comments indicate that Dubas earned a strong performance rating. Other NHL GMs recognized that his achievements in managing the team.
The Bottom Line
Overall, around the NHL, other GMs highlighted Dubas’ professionalism, analytical approach, and integrity. As a result, he earned respect of his peers as a strong GM with the Maple Leafs.